Pop Criticism and Cred in the Era of MP3s, Zines, and Blogs
March 29, 2005; 6:30 pm
AUDIO AND MP3S ARE TRANSFORMING POP MUSIC, from indie-rock
to hip hop. But what about those newly minted Web zines, blogs,
and alt glossies poking into every nook and cranny of the music
world? While the mainstream seems content to leaf through Rolling
Stone and channel surf from MTV to VH1, these do-it-yourself publishing
channels are busy creating a bewildering amount of chatter about
music and contemporary culture.
These days, every aspiring pop critic
can create his or her own soapbox. The resulting atmosphere is as
fragmented as it is high-speed: A blogger shows up at a club, orders
a beer, and reviews a show in real time. New trends break at a faster
clip than ever before. How can anyone keep up? And which critical
voice do you trust?
For the independent publisher, the zinester,
the online gawker, the vintage vinyl collector, or the unknown turntablist,
credibility remains the coin of the realm. Cred, after all, is what
makes the underground so underground. But do these new voices ever
permeate the mainstream? Are they gunning to take over? Are they
speaking a new language of pop criticism? Or merely talking among
Bringing together writers, editors,
and musicians, “Noise from Underground” is a welcome
conversation about the present-day pop criticism whirlwind -- and
whether cred is even cool anymore.
Moderator: Sasha Frere
Jones, pop music critic, The New Yorker
Panelists: Watch for details on panel makeup, which
will include critics, ‘zine editors, bloggers, musicians and
observers both underground and mainstream.
For further information, see www.najp.org,
or contact the National Arts Journalism Program at 212-854-2549
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